Comparing and Contrasting the Colonial Regions Established in British North America

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Comparing and Contrasting the Colonial Regions Established in British North America

British North America by the mid 1700’s consisted of three major regions. The New England region included the colonies of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The Middle Region included the colonies of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The Southern Region, also known as the Chesapeake Colonies, included the Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Although all three regions consisted of British colonies, each region differed in terms of climate, geography, population, politics, economy, and religious attitudes. Daily life was very different for the people who lived in each of these regions in the way they lived, worked, worshipped, and did business. This paper will look compare and contrast the three distinct colonial regions which came together to form the United States of America.

Let’s begin by looking at the origins of British colonization in North America. By the sixteenth century, Spain and Portugal had established colonies in South America and as far north as Florida. France, on the other hand had established colonies in what is now Canada. The coastline from Acadia to Florida however, was considered by the Spaniards too be cold for cash crops such as coffee and sugar, while the French deemed it to be too warm for the fur trade. This left the mid-Atlantic seaboard open for colonization by the British. (Taylor)

Unlike the French and the Spanish, the British monarchy could not afford to finance colonies overseas. Instead, the English government subcontracted the colonization of North America to private firms and individuals looking for risky, but potentially lucrative, investments. As a result, all three colonial regions had one thing in common, they were all initially private enterprises undertaken, at least in theory, as investment opportunities. In this proprietary system of government,...
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